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2020 Daily Trail Markers: Joe Biden looks to temper expectations

Biden asks voters to look past gaffes


JOE BIDEN: The former vice president's campaign tempered expectations for victory in Iowa on Tuesday while acknowledging the former vice president has to do a better job at attracting younger voters to his candidacy, reports CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns

The campaign said Tuesday that it expects the Democratic presidential primary to be a lengthy battle, with three or four other contenders sticking it out for the long run.

"We know it's going to be a dog fight," a senior campaign adviser told reporters on a conference call when asked whether the Iowa caucuses were considered a must-win contest. "Do I think we have to win Iowa? No," the adviser said. "We don't underestimate the impact…but we think there are several candidates in this field, probably three or four, who will be in this for a while." 

While there are still five months to go before voters in Iowa weigh in on the presidential election, the Biden campaign's efforts to downplay expectations for the first-in-the-nation caucuses signal the current front-runner is taking nothing for granted and that he expects the nomination could be a long slog. The comments come as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has been steadily gaining ground and building out one of the most robust organizations in Iowa.

CORY BOOKER: The New Jersey Senator released a plan to address climate change ahead of CNN's Climate Crisis Town Hall on Wednesday night. CBS News Campaign Reporter Jack Turman says the plan, which would cost $3 trillion, looks to create a 100% clean energy economy by 2045. 

The proposal also aims to rapidly end fossil fuels by eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and banning fracking. "We are facing a dual crisis of climate change and economic inequality," Booker said in a statement. "Without immediate action, we risk an incredible human toll from disasters, health impacts, rising national security threats, and trillions of dollars in economic losses." 

If elected, Booker said he would also push Congress to create a United States Environmental Justice Fund, which would advance environmental justice and have an annual budget of $50 billion. The United States Environmental Justice Fund would be used to improve the infrastructure of water service lines that service residential, school and daycare areas in order to prevent lead contamination. Funds would be allocated to also clean up "orphaned" Superfund sites.

PETE BUTTIGIEG: Over Labor Day, CBS News Campaign Reporter Musadiq Bidar caught up with the South Bend mayor during campaign stops in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to talk about his time in Afghanistan, discuss the latest with the Taliban peace negotiations and learn more about his approach to foreign policy.  

Buttigieg left Kabul in September of 2014 after a seven-month deployment. The mayor said that, at the time, he figured he would be one of the last U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Five years later, however, Buttigieg is running for president while nearly 14,000 American troops remain in the country. "We need to wrap this up quickly," he told CBS News about the conflict there, which has now eclipsed Vietnam as the longest war in U.S. history. "The one thing that everybody should be able to agree on, Democrats, Republicans, the Afghan government, the Taliban, the international community, and me is that we are leaving," Buttigieg said.


OUT WEST: As Cory Booker and Marianne Williamson campaign this week in Las Vegas, Bernie Sanders announced today he has locked up another endorsement in the state: Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who represents a diverse, mostly working class slice of southern Nevada. 

"I had several candidates come to my house and talk to me," Segerblom, who had supported Sanders as early as August 2015, tells CBS News Campaign Reporter Alex Tin. "I wanted to make sure my decision was right. I've seen everybody up close now, and all the candidates are great, but Bernie's the one guy who has been consistent and authentic on every issue," he added. This comes two months after Harris secured the backing of Justin Jones, another Clark County commissioner. 


IN THE SENATE: Mike Johnston has suspended his campaign for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, according to CBS News Political Unit Associate Producer Ellee Watson. Johnston was one of the frontrunners in the field of 11 before former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper jumped in. 

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has endorsed Hickenlooper and has told CBS News in a statement that Hickenlooper is the "strongest candidate" to beat Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. Johnston in his statement said, "To win this Democratic primary would now require an expensive and negative campaign. That is not who I am, and no race is worth conceding victory to a brand of broken politics that I have spent my life trying to change."

IN THE HOUSE: Coastal counties in North Carolina's 3rd and 9th Congressional districts are expected to get hit hard by Hurricane Dorian this week, potentially disrupting their early voting already underway and Sept. 10 special elections. Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, encouraged voters on Sunday to vote early while conditions are safe. "We do not want Dorian to put a damper on turnout for these important elections," she wrote in a press release. 

NC-3 covers much of the eastern coast, which is set to be hit the most from Dorian. Republican candidate Dr. Greg Murphy announced on Facebook that he has suspended campaign events over the next few days and advocated early voting "as we have no idea how the storm will impact our counties and for how long." 

While NC-3 is considered a safely red district, NC-9 is a toss-up between Democrat Dan McCready and Republican Dan Bishop. CBS News Political Unit Broadcast Associate Aaron Navarro reports absentee/early vote results as of early Sunday morning show close turnout between Democratic, Republican and unaffiliated ballots already cast. Overall, about 24,000 ballots have been cast in NC-3 and 46,000 ballots cast in NC-9, a bit over 9% of that district's eligible turnout. Early voting is set to end on Friday, Sept. 6, right about when Dorian touches the state's coast.

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